Close to 23 million Americans are struggling with addiction and yet only a handful get the quality drug and alcohol treatment they so desperately need. There’s no doubt that treatment is important and necessary in today’s world, but what constitutes quality treatment and what needs to be offered to these patients for them to achieve long-term recovery and a full life.

Quality Staff Equals Successful Outcomes

Treatment centers with specialties that focus on addiction counseling, medication-assisted treatment, psychiatry, and even spirituality can help patients uncover and address any wide-ranging needs that could aid in their recovery. Some additional things to consider:

  • Medical Detox Onsite: Having this onsite is closely linked to having experienced and qualified staff onsite. It also ensures that patients will begin their treatment clear-minded, comfortable, and focused on self-discovery.
  • Nutritional Support: As they say, “You are what you eat” – Healthy eating directly correlates to a positive recovery process. Treatment centers that prioritize nutrition help patients establish healthy lifestyles for long-term wellness.
  • Customized Care: Everyone’s circumstances are unique; the one-size-fits-all approach to treatment neglects to consider the individual’s strengths, weakness and medical history. For example, co-occurring disorders like depression and bipolar disorder may need to be addressed. Quality centers will tailor their treatment in ways that can most benefit the patient.
  • Post-treatment: The center you choose should offer a plan of action to follow up on the patient after completing the program. It should include ways to manage recovery-related stress to tips on how to avoid toxic people and situations. Additionally, many treatment centers offer Alumni support groups and meetings to build a community of recovery that patients can attend for support and motivation.
  • Involving the Family: Choose a place that offers the patient a chance to reconnect with their family while in treatment since household environments often play a part of in the patient’s addiction.

When looking for a treatment center, look for counselors with graduate degrees that incorporate license and board certifications. That’s a pretty good indicator you’re dealing with a blue-ribbon addiction treatment center. Also, these centers will have clinical supervision and team meetings twice or more a week for those in their outpatient-recovery programs, and even more for residential and inpatient programs. While addiction treatment may be overwhelming, a competent, licensed staff will give their patients the reassurance they’re there to heal, seek clarity and assist them in finding their road to recovery.

Trying to Quit on Your Own

No one ever intends to become addicted. There’s always some reason they begin using drugs or alcohol—stress, anxiety, depression. Nearly everyone with addiction believes—in the beginning anyway—that they can stop using any time they want, and most will try at one time or another. As most addiction specialists will tell you, nearly all these attempts will end in failure. Studies by National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) show that long-term drug addiction results in changes in brain functions that persist long after the individual begins using. Going ‘cold turkey’ can not only be difficult but dangerous. There’s no way to judge how you’re going to react to abruptly quitting drugs —quitting suddenly can bring on seizures, convulsions and result in your nervous system shutting down. The best and safest way towards recovery is through proper medical supervision combined with a long-term addiction treatment plan. Remember, your body is stressed enough because of prolonged drug use. It needs to be rehydrated and properly nourished to regain its health. For this reason, it’s better and safer to opt for a long-term treatment program. Remember, it won’t happen overnight—there are never any shortcuts to recovery, but with a high-quality treatment center, you will have a qualified team behind you to achieve success.

 Spotting Substandard Addiction Treatment

While the signs of high-quality care are more obvious, less-than-standard drug and alcohol treatment can be subtler—but potentially more disastrous. If correctly conducted, addiction treatment can transform lives and has a huge impact on the greater community. It can literally mean the difference between life and death and productivity or despair. When researching various centers, spotting these red flags will help you make a more informed decision:

  • Accreditation or certification: Good centers will be registered licensed by the state they operate in. Accreditation by the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is also a good indicator that you’ve found a quality center.
  • Vague generic websites or online advertisements: These websites are run by companies that are called “patient brokers”—people who connect you to whichever center is paying them, and not necessarily one that is suited for your clinical needs.
  • Free travel offers: This incentive is illegal in many states. If someone is offering to pay for your travel to the addiction center, make sure they’re an employee.

The lesson here is that not every center is a good fit for everyone. If you have the time, try and schedule a tour and do your due diligence online. Look at the various center’s websites and social media presences, read their reviews, find people who have gone through a center and what their treatment experience was like. Above all, remember to check to see if its programs are fully accredited and offer what you need.

Final Thoughts

With so many options open to people today it’s not surprising that choosing the right place could be the most difficult decision of your life. With each passing year more and more centers are appearing on the addiction scene. Educating yourself before venturing forth will pay huge dividends in the long run in the form of a positive recovery and a life spent clean and sober.

Since 2015, well over 30,000 American parents have had to bury a child due to drug overdoses. Everyone suffering from addiction was once a child—it can happen to anyone at any age from any social background. Drugs waste your brain, hijack your soul and, if left untreated, can last a lifetime. Sunspire Health has been bringing hope and recovery to those who walk through our doors—so that another parent does not have to lose a piece of their heart to addiction. If you or a loved one is suffering, call us now.